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Give us a call (310) 575-6600 to place an order today.

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Happy 4th of July: Decorative Edible Flowers To Garnish Your BBQ


    Happy 4th of July: Decorative Edible Flowers To Garnish Your BBQ

     

    If you're hosting a barbecue for the Fourth of July, then some festive flowers might just be the perfect decoration for your table. A lot of people don't realize this, but you can use edible flowers in your cooking — both as ingredients and as garnishes. In fact, people have been eating flowers for hundreds of years, and it's a great way to add color, fragrance, flavor, and variety to your dishes. Here are nine of my favorites:***

     

    1. Borage: Borage has blue or pink star-shaped flowers with a cucumber flavor. The leaves taste like cucumbers too! You can use borage leaves in salads or sandwiches instead of lettuce leaves, or use them as a garnish by placing them on top of cakes and pastries before serving.

     

     

    2. Chive: Chives have green leaves with purple flowers that taste like an onion when chopped up (but without the harshness). Add them to salads or use them as a garnish on burgers or sandwiches.

     

     

    3. Dandelions: Young dandelions have yellow blossoms that taste like honey when eaten fresh (not dried). They're also packed with vitamins A and C! The greenery and petals are both great in salads but if you feel creative, use them in baking.

     

     
    4. Nasturtium: These red, orange and yellow flowers have large edible petals that are peppery and spicy (comparable to arugula). Add color and crunch when sprinkled over pasta and salads. Try mixing them with tomatoes or cucumbers for an extra burst of flavor.
     

     

      5. Calendula: Commonly known as marigold, has golden-orange petals and has light citrus and bitter zing with a floral aftertaste. Good in soups, herb butter or sprinkle them over salads (also works as a great moisturizer ingredient).

     

    6. Pansies: Pansies come in a variety of colors, including fuchsia, yellow, orange, and white. They are slightly sweet but lean a little more on the earthy side, which makes them great additions on fruit or green salads or as garnishes for meat and deserts!

     

     

    7. Lavender: Purple in color, this is technically an herb but a very popular one! With its distinct floral taste (with hints of mint and rosemary), this option is great in lemonades and drinks as well as in baking. The purple color looks great with red, white and blue foods as well.

     

     

    8. Chamomile: You may sip chamomile tea but did you know you can eat it too? Unmistakable with its dainty white petals and yellow center, tea drinks worldwide know chamomile to have a slightly bitter yet sweet taste. Use in baking, in salads, or as garnish (or a simple yet beautiful arrangement for your table!).

     

     

    9. Hibiscus Flowers: Hibiscus flowers come in many different colors including red, pink, orange, and white. They boast a tart, almost cranberry-like flavor that can be used in teas, lemonades, or cocktails but also make beautiful garnishes for cakes and other desserts.

       

       

      In this article, we hope we have introduced you to some edible flowers that you can use to decorate your 4th of July barbecue. If you enjoy experimenting with the taste of flowers, try out of Bucket of Blooms program next! We wish you a happy and safe Independence Day celebration.

       

       

      ***while eating wildflowers and garden-prepared florals isn't a new concept, it's best to do your own research with due diligence concerning your own health. If you have any concerning questions, always confer with your doctor!***

      5 Easy Tips on Caring for Fresh Peonies

       

      5 Simple Steps to Make Your

      Fresh Peonies Last Longer

       

      Fresh Peonies are perfect for a summer wedding or event (or just for a weekday home refresher). But did you know that caring for fresh peonies is different than caring for different cut flowers? Though a fresh peony can last up to ten days, it's important to keep in mind the following five tips on caring for fresh peonies so that they can look beautiful and last longer.

      So, you just got home and have your peony bunch in one hand and an empty vase in the other.

       

      Here are 5 easy tips on taking care of your fresh peonies.

       

      1. First and foremost, always clean up your blooms. This usually looks like taking them out of their cellophane carrier and laying them out on your floral station (AKA the kitchen counter). Then, potentially rinsing off any sap or dirt from the blooms, removing the leaves off the stems, and carefully taking off any guard petals.

      1. Fill your vase with lukewarm water. If you use hot water, you'll risk destroying the stem tissue of your flowers, which causes bacterial growth (the Bouquet Killer™). Even worse, heat typically causes flowers to shed their petals more quickly! However, you could use warmer water to your advantage. Need certain blooms to open faster? Try warmer water instead of lukewarm...just not hot!

         

      2. Here's a fun fact you probably didn't know: flower food does NOT help flowers grow! Makes sense but weird that it's been marketed that way, right? Flower food helps create clean water that will be free of bacteria, which in turn helps the flowers last longer and bloom in a more natural, wholesome way. Allowing bacteria to grow in your bouquet will kill it quickly, so giving the bouquet flower food and fresh water every few days will help it thrive for weeks.

         

        Bonus tip!

         

        If you don't have the time to go grab flower food for your arrangement, use a drop of bleach to replace it. This will keep your vase and water clean and help your bouquet last. Truly just a drop is all that's needed!

         

      3. Now it's time to design (everyone's favorite part). It's a top florist secret to always give your flowers a fresh cut. What's this mean exactly? It means to give each flower stem a fresh cut before inserting it into your vase- so you're setting up your stem for the best absorption possible. Need to rearrange something and have to take out a stem or two? No worries; simply figure out its new placement, give it another small and quick cut, and put it in its new place. 

         

      4. Like most fresh flowers, stashing them in the fridge or outside at night is a guaranteed way to help them last longer. But you can take the trick a step further with peonies. Try cutting fresh peony buds while they're soft, wrapping them in newspaper, and storing them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them. They won't open up in the fridge, but you can preserve them for an extra day or two if you need them to last.

       

       

      With our advice, you can hold off droopy flowers for as long as an extra week! Each of these five tips should extend the lives of your cut peonies for you to enjoy, so make sure to implement them before your next purchase!

       

       

      Always Keep Blooming,

      Amy

       

      The Perfect Summertime Floral Arrangements

       

      5 Perfect Summertime Flowers

      To Brighten Your Home

       

      Summertime is here in Los Angeles (well, it's officially June, so you know what I mean). Summer is associated with a lot of things, such as warm(er) days at the pool, long nights on the patio, busy sports schedules and so much more. It's the time of year when we have the most festivities and events to attend and we inevitably end up spending a lot of time outside.

      But when the heat gets a little too intense, we unstick ourselves from our activities and quickly head into our AC'd home. And while the sun beats down outside, it sometimes leaves the insides looking...well, a little dull in comparison.

      Arranging your home with flower arrangements, and/or potted plants is an excellent way to give your home that fresh, welcoming feel while you wait out the 100-degree days. Below you will find a list of 6 summer-friendly florals that you can grab at your local store or farmers market now to help you bring some of the beauty indoors without getting scorched.

       

      1. Peonies

       

      IT'S FINALLY HERE, I REPEAT, PEONY SEASON IS HERE! Do not wait a moment longer before stopping at your closest Trader Joe's and grabbing yourself a bundle (or two)!

      Cultivated in China for more than 4000 years, peonies have earned our #1 summer spot with their spectacular colors, varietals, and fragrances. A simple vase filled with peonies will capture any room and leave it smelling divine for days. Grab some soon- they don't last very long!

       

      2. Garden Roses

       

      If you're looking for an elegant, classic look for your floral arrangements, you should know that The Hidden Garden turns to garden roses when peony season has ended.

      Garden roses are the most popular variety of rose because they have a timeless charm and lush, full blooms that make them ideal for weddings and other formal events. They're also incredibly fragrant, which makes them perfect for romantic occasions (anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Wednesdays...).

      They're often used as filler in bouquets and centerpieces, but are fantastic as a stand-alone bouquet because they're so versatile: you can mix them with other flowers like tulips or sunflowers for an elegant look, or you can use them all on their own for a simple design that's still full of color and life!

       

      3. Hydrangea

       

      Native to Asia and the Americas, the hydrangea is a beautifully common filler flower but don't let that deter you from picking up a bundle.

      Hydrangea is a flower that comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors, but in the summertime, we often see them in shades of white, blue, lavender, or light pink (the more acid the soil, the bluer, and the more alkaline the soil, the pinker the flowers are! Neat, huh?).

      We know them for their huge soft, fluffy head of petals- and use these flowers' simplicity to your advantage! Place in a calming spot in your home to complete the room.

       

      4. Lavender

       

      Speaking of lavender, this herbaceous plant is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but it has been cultivated in many other places for its floral scent. In some areas, such as the idyllic southern fields in France, it is grown commercially for the production of essential oils used in perfumery and aromatherapy.

      Because it's known for its calming effects, lavender can be used in cooking, as a natural remedy, or as an essential oil. Having a sweet, fruity aroma makes it the perfect addition to any arrangement (especially next to the bedside).

       

      5. Dahlias

       

      Dahlias are a beautiful addition to any floral arrangement, whether you're planning a wedding or just want to add some color to your living room.

      Dahlias are unique in that they come in so many different varieties. You can get them in a range of colors and tones, so they'll fit whatever aesthetic you have in mind. They also come in different shapes and sizes, such as the pom pom varietal vs the dinner plate!

      Dahlias also have a long vase life, which means you can keep them around for longer than other flowers, too.

      If you're looking for a beautiful flower that will last a long time and look great in any setting, then adding dahlias to your floral arrangements is the way to go!

       

      Bonus Pick: Sunflowers!

       

      What kind of list would this be if we didn't include the beautiful sunflower! Sunflowers are a staple of the floral industry for a reason: they're beautiful, versatile, and easy to work with. When you include sunflowers in your floral arrangements, here are some of the main reasons why you'll be glad you did:

      They're easy to work with—you can use them in wall arrangements, centerpieces, and more.

      They come in a wide range of colors that complement both warm and cool palettes.

      You can use sunflowers to create a variety of styles: from romantic to whimsical and even rustic.

       

      Today's takeaway? Don't forget about summer-time florals when you're stuck inside the heat, thinking of your wedding arrangements, or just want a quick bedside bouquet.

       

      Always Keep Blooming,

      Amy

       

       

       

       

       

      Beginner-Friendly Bouquets: How To Create A Pro Flower Arrangement

       

      Bouquet Breakdown:

      How To Create A Pro Flower Arrangement

       

      A beginner-friendly breakdown on what you should use to create a professional (and expensive) flower bouquet

       

      You’ve decided you want to learn how to create a flower bouquet and be the hit of all of your special events. The only problem? You have no idea how to get started. Flowers can be very intricate and sometimes require more knowledge than just stuffing a bunch in a vase together. This is why we’ve decided to write this step-by-step breakdown on exactly how to create a floral arrangement that looks like it was created by the pros.

      1. Greenery

       

      While keeping budget in mind, we’re going to head to your local trader joes/grocery store/farmer's market.

      Depending on your budget, you can choose 1-4 flowers to include in your bouquet but try and have at least:

      1 base greenery (examples: hydrangea, eucalyptus, Italian ruscus)

      1 focal point floral (examples: tulips, peonies, roses)

      1 filler flower (examples: baby's breath, ranunculus, spray roses)

      (bonus additives for more flower options: hellebores, sweet peas, statice).

       

      2. Mechanics

       

      What kind of vase are you planning on putting your bouquet in? Is it short and wide? Tall and thin? The size of your container will dictate how long you keep your flowers when prepping them, so keep that in mind!

      The most popular “mechanics” of flower arranging are:

      • Oasis brick (foam block)

      • Chicken Wire

      • Floral tape grid

      The most often used technique is the floral tape grid method- it’s super simple and it’s cheap!. This technique is simply taking floral tape (purchase cheaply at Walmart, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby) or if you’re short on time, regular clear tape that I know you have stashed in your “junk drawer” somewhere. 

      Simply take your tape and on a clean and dry vase (very important), make a Tic-Tac-Toe grid. That’s it- really! This grid creates a stronghold for your florals so that they don’t lay wherever they want- this will give it a tidy, professional look. 

      Tools you’d want to use for your at-home arrangement:

      -A vase (duh)

      -Clippers or very sharp scissors

      -Watering can with fresh, lukewarm water

      -Flower food (if you’re in a bind and don’t have any flower food around, use a drop of bleach to help clean your water. No more than a drop or two!

       

      3. Keepin' it Clean

       

      Arguably the most important step to creating a bouquet that lasts, make sure not to skip this step:

      After your vase is  tic-tac-toe ready and has been filled with lukewarm water (not hot and not cold- trust me), add in half of your flower food packet and save the other half for when you replenish the water in a few days' time.

      Fun fact: did you know that flower food isn’t actually feeding your flowers? What flower food does is help kill the bacteria in the water so your flowers can last weeks instead of just days! So cool, right?

      Make sure you stir/mix in the flower food so that it doesn’t clump to the bottom of your stems. 

       

      4. Prep Time

       

      Your next step before you pop those florals in your vase…it’s time to prep!

      Take each individual stem and clean off any leaves, low/small branches, or brown petals by simply snipping them off at its base with your fingers or clippers. 

      Once you insert your stems, you don’t want any leaves, petals, seeds, or pollen to get into your water. When you allow these things into the water, the bacteria on them will start to grow in the water and quickly kill your arrangement. 

      This step + adding flower food will ensure that your bouquet will last for weeks at a time!

      I know you’re looking at your freshly purchased flowers thinking, “what a waste of beautiful greenery!” But I promise you, it is worth it. Plus, once your beginner-friendly bouquet is finished, it will help it look as if it was created by a professional.

       

      5. Fresh cut

       

      The last step before you move forward… is giving each and every stem a fresh, angled cut before you put it into your vase. This will allow it to fully drink the water and trust me, your flowers will be thirsty.

      Start with your greenery.

      Then add in your focal flowers.

      Next, add in any “other” flowers you have (if you couldn’t choose just one focal flower)

      Finally, add in your filler flowers.

      So there you have it! With these tips, tricks, and pointers, you can now create some amazing floral arrangements with ease. But don’t stop here if you really want to master the art of flower arranging! Check out our online Floral Education which offers you even more tips on how to improve your skills. 

       

      But in the end, remember that the best way to learn how to make the perfect bouquet (and avoid any mishaps) is through practice. No matter how many times you need to experiment in order to master it, you can always fall back on these simple rules of thumb to keep you on the right track.

       

      Always Keep Blooming,

       

      Amy Marella of The Hidden Garden

       

       

       

       

       

       

      How Florists Prep for Valentine's Day

       

      Have you ever wondered to yourself - “How do florists get all their flowers ready for Valentine’s Day?”

      From the Florist’s standpoint, we have an entire month scheduled out to prep for the holiday! Valentine’s Day is actually the number one holiday for florists and floral purchases (second to Christmas/Chanukah).

      Here are the 8 steps The Hidden Garden goes through to get your perfect bouquet ready for your loved ones (or yourself!) on Valentine's Day:

       

      1. One Month Out 

       

      One month out we pre-order with our growers (that are all over the world). This helps us guarantee our product. Besides the normal supply and demand issue that all florists deal with on Valentine’s Day colors, we also were dealing with “flight space.” With so many of our florals arriving from around the world, we have to make sure our florals fit on the plane!

       

       

       

      2. Create the Collection

       

      You decide what bouquets to pick, we decide what flowers go in the bouquets! 

      Now the fun bit! Creating a collection starts with Amy and goes through our team of designers. Professionally curated, we take the time to create options for lots of different people. We have the classic rose bouquet, whimsical garden arrangements, dark romantic styles, modern options, the list goes beyond what you’d normally see! See below a few that we offered this year.

        

       

       

       

      3. Find the Perfect Containers

       

      We have our florals ordered, we have our collection created- now for the vessel to hold it all together! Sourcing the containers is just as important as finding the perfect flowers. The vessel your bouquet comes in are created to enhance your arrangement but also to have as a keepsake for when your flowers eventually die.

       

       

       

      4. Marketing

       

      Marketing mailers, newsletters, floral cards, oh my! Even though we are always busting at the seams with orders each Valentine’s Day, we adore continually telling our story and sharing with our community.

      Creating and sending one sheets of information, newsletters filled with blogs and quizzes, you wouldn’t think we would need to put out so much information on a day surrounded by florals. However, at the Hidden Garden, we love to make sure our community knows what florals would best suit them, how to best care for them, and help design the perfect bouquet for their special someone.

       

       

       

      5. Flowers Arrive

       

      Our florals arrive in LA six days before Valentine’s Day and we process them after their plane ride. All of the flowers need to be processed and hydrated (it was a long plane ride after all!). First, they all receive fresh cuts and immediately put into water with flower food and left to rest for an entire 24 hours. After they rest, they’re finally able to get into the hands of the designers.

       

       

       

      6. Designers in the House

       

      Speaking of designers, with hundreds of orders coming through the shop and out the door, you can imagine the team of staff that makes this happen. Our designers work tirelessly for 5 days straight with our production crew supporting them.

      And don’t forget about our admin team! An entire collection of superstars who help by answering phones, emails, and customer questions and orders that come through the door.

      It truly takes a team and we couldn't be more thrilled to have such hardworking humans at the shop, making this entire process possible. Three cheers to the shop!

       

        

      And there you have it! Did you learn anything new about The Hidden Garden? We hope it let a little insight into our business around one of our busiest days of the year!

        

      Always Keep Blooming,

      Amy

       

       

       

       

       

       

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